China's ByteDance agrees TikTok sale as U.S. ban looms for video app

China's ByteDance agrees TikTok sale as U.S. ban looms for video app

(CNBC)President Donald Trump plans to announce a decision ordering China's ByteDance Ltd.to divest its ownership of the music-video app TikTok, which is popular with us teens, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Trump said Friday that his administration would prohibit the service within USA borders but did not share any further details. "We may be doing some other things and also alternatives for TikTok".

Trump is weighing other courses of action, including an executive order that could use the powers of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to bar certain foreign apps from United States app stores. "I can do it with an executive order".

Update 8/1 1:30PM PT: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the deal ByteDance and Microsoft were pitching as a way to keep TikTok running as a USA company here in the states is on hold.

Trump further told reporters that he planned to take action against the popular video-sharing app as soon as Saturday. Furthermore, US-based investors would be given the opportunity to buy minority stakes in the company. It's unclear who this other U.S. company would be, or how the operation would be structured. There are a couple of options.

Since its release in 2016, TikTok has accumulated over 800 million monthly active users, including 150 million users from the US. According to a spokesman, Trump does not look favourably on the possibility of an American company buying TikTok's USA operations.

However, similar denials have not been enough to stop another Chinese tech company, Huawei, from being banned in the United States - with the White House subsequently pressuring allies to follow suit (GCSB Minister Andrew Little says our spy agency's decision to ban Huawei was made independently).

Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Microsoft quickly emerged as a potential buyer of TikTok's United States operations. The Trump administration had previously discussed banning TikTok earlier this month.

Aboard Air Force One on Friday night, Trump doubled down on his threat, telling reporters a TikTok ban was fast approaching and would be imposed by executive order or emergency economic powers.

The move was aimed at resolving policymakers' concerns that the foreign-owned TikTok may be a national security risk. "We appreciate the support", she said, adding, "We're here for the long run".

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted about the president's plan, saying it was "a danger to free expression".

Pixabay TikTok has over 800 million users worldwide.

US officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. "Of particular concern, both Zoom and TikTok have sought to hide and distract from their meaningful ties to China, holding themselves out as American companies".

Social media services, including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's YouTube, have seen their sales growth continue during the pandemic as users spend more time entertaining themselves online - particularly with video - and advertisers follow them there.

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